Every October, I climb upon my soapbox to write about this very important issue. As you are reading this, you can probably think of someone in your life that should become aware of window cord safety. Together we can all help protect our precious children.
Child safety begins at home. We do not often think of the windows in our home as potential danger spots. But the statistics are tragic and speak for themselves. Two hundred infants and children have died from window cord accidents since 1990. Parents are often the ones who unwittingly bring these dangers into their homes and even into their children’s bedrooms. In fact, we all have looked this dangerous killer right in the eye and not recognized it. For the third year in a row, I am working to raise awareness of the importance of window cord safety issues and bring to light the dangers and solutions available. Children and window cords don’t mix!
It only takes a few seconds for a youngster to strangle on window cords that are within their reach. Think how often cribs are placed by windows. It makes it all too easy for a baby to grasp the dangling window treatment cord and roll over wrapping it around their necks. Active toddlers and older children are climbers and can accidentally become tangled and caught in window cords. But know that there are things you can do right now to create a safer environment in your home.
The Window Covering Safety Council recommends only using cordless window blinds and shades in young children’s sleeping areas. These are popular, clean and streamlined window treatment designs that use batteries, wands or spring-loaded mechanisms to replace the cords. All pre-2001 window treatments in children’s rooms should be replaced immediately with today’s safer products. Doing this also gets rid of the lead dust danger prevalent in pre-2001 vinyl mini blinds.
Active youngsters like to explore their bedrooms and play areas. Move all cribs, beds and furniture in their rooms that can be used for climbing to windowless walls whenever possible.
Make sure all window treatments with cords in your home are out of children’s reach by keeping them short or having them permanently anchored to the wall with a cord cleat. Lock cords into position whenever they are lowered partially or all the way to the sill.
Today’s safer window treatment products meet child safety standards. There are free cord-retrofit kits and window safety information available to consumers from the Window Covering Safety Council to install on pre-2001 blinds and shades that are in your home. They may be obtained by contacting them at www.windowcoverings.org. and going to their “How to Retrofit” area.
It is a great idea to use caution and choose safety for our children every time. Learn what you should and do what you can. Let’s make “home sweet home” a safe haven for our younger generation.